Schools trying again to pass building levies

2013-10-16T00:38:00Z 2013-11-04T12:13:21Z Schools trying again to pass building leviesBy DEREK BROUWER Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 16, 2013 12:38 am  • 

Ballots for the Helena City Commission and Helena public schools will be mailed tomorrow, Oct. 17, to more than 35,000 registered voters.

Most voters should expect to receive their ballot by Monday, Oct. 21, according to Lewis and Clark County Elections Supervisor Marilyn Bracken. For your vote to be counted, the county election office must receive your ballot by Nov. 5.

Voters in Helena will choose two city commissioners from three candidates: Dan Ellison (incumbent), Andres Haladay and David Nielsen. Mayor Jim Smith is running for re-election, but is unopposed. For full coverage of the race and to read interviews with the city commission candidates published earlier this month, visit

Helena residents and rural voters will also decide on a pair of building reserve levies for Helena elementary and high schools.

The levies would raise $1.25 million per year for 10 years in the elementary district and $750,000 per year for the high schools. That translates to $28.04 in property taxes per year for those with a home of $100,000 in taxable value, or $6.21 more than the expiring set of building reserve levies.

Funds would be used for major maintenance projects across the district, such as roofing, heating, playgrounds and parking lots. They would take effect in 2014 once existing levies expire.

There will not be polling stations for the exclusively mail-in election. Return postage for ballots is 46 cents. However, voters may drop off their ballot in person at the county election office until 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Residents who have either not registered to vote or are inactive voters will not receive a ballot. Late registration will be administered at the election office, 316 N Park Ave., through Election Day.

Copyright 2016 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. skooter
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    skooter - October 16, 2013 3:33 pm
    Sheesh least try to see the long term benefit of having good decent buildings and properties for your kids to learn in! We're talking a pittance to deal with aging infrastructure issues and a ton of buildings. Basically $6.21 a year more per 100K of value in your house and your complaining?? Com'n! maybe skip a dinner out or a heck, no more than a sixpack this year to help your children be all they can in decent facilities. Not funding education is the exact definition of shortsighted...and then you'll complain about the failing education system because your adult children don't have the education needed for better jobs.

    And Caribou...thanks for reminding us of that tired republican myths that the teachers are the REAL problem in our society...not wall street bankers, or corporations with unlimited power, offshoring politicians, and a greedy me-only society...yep, it's those pesky darn teachers making (GASP!) somewhere in the mid 30's that are really bringing this country to it's knees (along with policemen, firemen, and municipal employees). About the most idiotic of the republican lies out there...move to wisconsin please.

    But not a dime of this extra $6.21 a year goes to teachers at all...just building and building related issues. Thank you, come again.
  2. theeraseablemarker
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    theeraseablemarker - October 16, 2013 2:20 pm
    Why not implement a local sales tax; so, the responsibility is fairly distributed instead of punishing homeowners every time the schools want more money? I imagine there would be less support for a more transparent tax. I will be voting against this mill levy.
  3. theeraseablemarker
    Report Abuse
    theeraseablemarker - October 16, 2013 2:16 pm
    LOL That is the truth.
  4. theflowbee
    Report Abuse
    theflowbee - October 16, 2013 12:26 pm
    or you could vote it down and ensure that we continue to close schools because they're deemed unsafe. that way we can pack even more kids into classrooms (in schools that are MILES away from where the kids live), ensuring that teachers get to spend even LESS time with the kids they already have. this will help us make sure we don't retain teachers already struggling to manage an overloaded class, or worse "lose" even one kid on the line between success and failure. this isn't a NEW request. it's likely about 10-12 bucks more per year than the average person is paying now. if you don't have any kids in the district, it's still a logical thing to do for your community. how much do you think your taxes would go up if even one kid fails to become successful in school because the teacher couldn't spend as much time with them, and subsequently gives up, requires unemployment, public health $, or even incarceration. more than $10, i would surmise.
  5. caribouboy
    Report Abuse
    caribouboy - October 16, 2013 6:41 am
    Don't worry Helena, if you don't pass this tax increase, the MEA will send another vote out very soon.

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